If you go
Longmont Farmers Market:
Boulder County Fairgrounds
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 17
Boulder Farmers Market
13th Street and Canyon Boulevard
8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 17
4-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 3
Union Station Farmers Market:
Denver's Union Station plaza
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 20
In season now: Grab your shopping bags and get yourself a healthy mix of arugula, asparagus, beef, bison, carrots, cheese, chicken, cucumbers, eggs, green garlic, greenhouse tomatoes, honey, lamb, lettuce, plant starts, pea shoots, pork, micro-greens, mizuna, mushrooms, rhubarb, scallions, seeds, shallots, spinach, spicy greens spring onions and turnips.
Lots of this, please: Versatile and delicious Hakurei turnips. Luckily this spring vegetable is far easier to cook than it is to say. Brighten up your salad or switch it up at dinner with this delicate farm favorite.
The farmer says: Spring in Colorado is anything but predictable, which makes farming quite the gamble. Fortunately, there are such crops that don't mind the cold, including the Hakurei turnip. It's rare to see this Japanese turnip in a commercial grocery store, which makes it a coveted find at farmers' markets. Unlike other turnip varieties, Hakureis can be eaten raw, which has earned it the nickname "the salad turnip."
It's been eight years since they planted their first hakurei at Aspen Moon Farm in Hygiene, according to Erin Driedstadt, one of the owners. Crisp taste and versatility initially sold Aspen Moon on Hakureis. Driedstadt recommends these turnips chopped in a salad or sautéed with a little bok choy. Driedstadt says the turnip greens are tasty as well, and she likes to use these, too, so no part of the vegetable goes unused.
Hakurei turnips are available until early June from Aspen Moon Farm, but be sure to come early: According to Driedstadt, they always sell out.
How to prepare: Be sure to wash and peel the turnip root. After that, it is up to personal preference. Dice it into a mixed-green salad, cook it with the greens attached, or simply enjoy it whole.
Goes with: Duck, chicken, pork, local greens
How to store it: Keep the turnips in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, unwashed. Store the greens separately. If freezing the turnips, make sure they are cut into cubes or fully cooked.
Good to know: This list represents a general overview of the week's harvest, not every item that is being produced locally. Some farms do not grow or have ready some items on the list.
Shaved Turnip Salad
1 bunch of baby Japanese turnips
4 cups of full flavored spring greens (arugula, mizuna, spicy greens mix from Aspen Moon, for example)
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of local cheese (Haystack Mountain goat feta, for example, or something that crumbles well)
2 tablespoon of local honey
1/8 cup of Colorado cider vinegar (Big B's of course)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of local fermented chile flake (or pepper)
Zest of the orange and grapefruit above
6 ounces of Colorado Sunflower oil (or any neutral oil you would like)
Directions: Wash and thinly slice the turnips and scallions.
Zest the orange and grapefruit, then peel and segment the fruit, set aside.
Remove the stems from the greens and wash if you haven't already done so. Dry in a salad spinner.
Toast the pumpkins seeds, if not already toasted, in a dry pan over medium heat until the seeds begin to brown. At this point remove them from the pan.
For the vinaigrette: In a food processor or blender add all of the ingredients except the oil, turn the food processor on and slowly incorporate the oil until fully incorporated.
Toss the greens with 1/3 of the vinaigrette and season with a pinch of salt.
Arrange the greens on a platter and then spread the remaining ingredients around the top of the salad. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side for guests to add if they desire.
Source: Tim Payne, executive chef/owner at Farmer Girl, Lyons.